I-9 Forms of ID: A Great Tale About What’s Acceptable, or Not

By February 28, 2019 March 1st, 2019 Employment Law, Harassment and Discrimination, Hiring

Recently, one of our immigration lawyers sent us an update about a situation where a prospective employee couldn’t provide proper documentation for his I-9. The form of ID provided was an Allodial American National Identification Card, which is not an accepted form of identification listed on the I-9 instructions — and “Native American” is not a federally recognized tribe.

She noted that applicants are not required to present social security cards for I-9 purposes, but they still must meet the requirements in some manner. This has been confirmed in the courts — in El v Keel, Montu H. Tum-Re-El, a self-proclaimed member of the Yamassee Tribe of Native Americans” and a Native American “Nuwaubian Moor,” filed a civil rights action against employees and executives of the Charter One and Citizens Banks, alleging discrimination on the basis of his national origin.

Per the filing, Tum-Re-El stated he had been denied the opportunity to receive $200 by opening an account at Charter One after the Bank refused to accept the identification presented during his account opening interview. He had first presented “a Moor-American Right to Travel card,” which the bank rejected, and then offered an “Allodial American National Identification Card,” which was also unsuitable to the bank. Tum-Re-El had no I-9 certified documentation and was therefore not allowed to open an account.

In its filing, the judge noted, “the plaintiff’s complaint must be dismissed…because it does not allege a plausible claim of national origin discrimination. Federal courts have consistently held that national origin protection does not apply to native-born individuals, like the plaintiff, who claim to be affiliated with a tribal government purportedly existing independently of any federally recognized Indian Tribe.”

The case is an interesting one. Readers who wish to explore further may do so here. This case has since been used as precedent in subsequent cases, so the situation is clear. Prospective employees must provide federally listed documentation for their I-9 forms. Furthermore, they will at some point need a social security card so their wages can be taxed and properly documented.